Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
Gettysburg NPS Medical Weekend 1997
Living History Report
Gettysburg National Battlefield
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July 25-27, 1997
July 6th, 1863
It seems that all the news from these parts are from the motions of the
armies after the greatest tribulations of battle. Many of our regiments
have moved away now, but some of our friends have not yet moved, as they
are amoung the wounded. It is a gracious God that allows me to declare
that I am amoung the wounded that may yet live. I received a grazing or
rather a gashing wound to the left temple by a quite spent minnie ball
during the fight. In all the terror, I did not notice until my arm and
hands were covered with blood, when I then began to feel faint. I got to
the rear and then to the hospital. After the battle, the wounded of our
regiment were sent to the brigade field hospital where we were briskly
attended to, wounds dressed, and sent along our way to the trains. The
other more seriously wounded men were operated on there with many
amputations and other more horrid treatments.
We fortunate wounded were directed to the trains for the purpose of
being conducted to the Baltimore Military General Hospital. Since the
Rock Creek bridge was destroyed, the trains could not yet make it to the
center of Gettysburg, and to the station there. We were obligated to
make our own way to the tracks where the train would stop south of the
town some distance. And for the various wounded making one's own way is
difficult, painful, and exhausting.
And so a small band of Nutmeggers that are new acquaintances under these
circumstances set off from the hospitals tords the tracks, each helping
the others hobble along as best we could. The going was quite slow. We
happened upon this location about midway along. It is a lodge of the
United States Sanitary Commission, just set up today, to serve as a rest
station for those making their way from the field to the trains. The
delegates of the Frederick Ladies Relief Society have provided for most
of the needs of the men, since they have a large tent to shelter us
overnight if we are too late for the 5 oclock night train, and we wait
here at this wayside lodge for the 10 oclock morning train. The
Christian Commission is also located hard by, and they tend to the many
needs of the men here, as well.
While here, the ladies succor us with a diet kitchen serving warm food
unparalleled by army rations. They have prepared us ham, barley soup,
and countless pantry items put by in jars. Such is a fine lot of
citizens that do all this and ask for nothing more than our thanks and
well being. They also have a Dr. Hooper here, under whose directions,
our wounds are cleaned and redressed, as long as the bandages hold out.
If not, we wait til the dirty ones are boiled and redone. So, as we rest
here, the delegates also wash our faces, and look after us in any way.
We while away the time talking of home, and playing checkers,
distracting ourselves from our pains. We have been able to write some
letters letting our friends know how we fare, such as I am now doing for
you, and they will post them as well.
So I am now here, fed well, dressings changed, and feeling rested. The
others here from home include many from the 5th CV, 14th CV, 17th CV,
20th CV, and the 27th CV. We pass the time telling stories, and talking
how it will be bully to be away from the battle lines during our
convalescence. But, a General officer and his staff visited the lodge
this forenoon, and inspected closely the operations and the men. He
found no fault with our care, and commended the U.S.S.C. people for
their work. If there was anything that he could do, his quartermaster
would be at their service. Of course, the request for more bandages was
preempted by the serious need for them at the hospitals today.
The General questioned each man there, as to their regiment, their
actions on the field, and how they were wounded. Most had some heroic
descriptions of the facts, but one poor boy had no facts, could not name
his regiment, and had no outward signs of wounds. The General had his
secretary interview the boy further, suspecting a shirker. It seemed to
us that the boy was not feigning, and that he was rather seriously
affected, and his dimentia was as dibilitating as our wounds. We fixed
to look closer after him after that, and that we will do. We were
thinking that we were to be conducted to the Baltimore Hospital with a
hope of being furloughed home, but the General specifically addressed
me, and asked if I was prepared to be back in the ranks as soon as I was
mended. To which I answered in the affirmative. So my enlistment oath to
duty will still stand as three years or the duration. I will write to
you from Baltimore and let you know further how I am getting on. My
wound is likely more messy and sore than dangerous, however I do still
have a large headache yet. Direct your missives as always to Washington.
God Bless the Union.
Your obedient servant,
Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.